Biden celebrates infrastructure spending on Pacific Northwest tour

(The Center Square) – President Joe Biden spoke at the Portland International Airport (PDX) Thursday about infrastructure, jobs and inflation.

He spoke surrounded by Oregon officials, including Oregon Governor Kate Brown. Biden emphasized the importance of modernizing roads, bridges and airports in Oregon and across the U.S.

The president said the investments made from the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill will help modernize airports, with a $25 billion price tag for that piece of the legislation.

“Because of the infrastructure law, we’re going to see modern baggage claim areas, improved taxi-ways and, yes, better escalators,” Biden said.

Biden said that renovations of PDX will support “more than 1,250 good paying jobs constructing the terminal,” with 95% of the construction being done by union workers.

He added that PDX is a good example of the need and ability to make progress because “it’s an essential economic engine for the entire region, not just Portland.”

Governor Brown spoke before Biden, emphasizing the effects of the infrastructure plan in Oregon.

“[The infrastructure plan] elevates opportunities for our communities of color, our rural communities and people with low incomes to make sure that no one and no community is left behind,” Brown said.

Biden’s speech in Portland comes as his approval ratings have dipped. Washington state, a historically blue state, gave Biden a 42% approval rating in the latest Civiqs poll.

Washington State Republican Party (WSRP) Chairman Caleb Heimlich issued a statement ahead of Biden’s appearance in Seattle Friday. Heimlich attributes Biden’s low approval rating to massive government spending.

“The Biden administration is causing families across the economic spectrum to suffer from 40-year high inflation that is estimated to be costing them an extra $5,200 to purchase the same basket of goods as last year,” Hemilich said.

Biden’s Portland message blamed high inflation rates on the COVID-19 pandemic and gas prices.

“Because of the pandemic, we have had disruptions in our supply of important materials so the prices went up,” Biden said. “Putin’s invasion of Ukraine has driven up gas prices and food prices all around the world . . . last month 70% of the increase in inflation was a consequence of Putin’s price hike.”

Biden is scheduled to be in Seattle Thursday night for a fundraiser for the Democratic National Committee followed by a speech the following day in Auburn, WA at the Green River College Student Union building.

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